This particular restaurant is located in the San Gabriel Hilton Plaza, right next to the hotel building, and for those not in the know of this place, Ajisen Ramen (sp?), Pa Pa Walk (which has good boba!), Cathy's Bakery, Coo Coo Chicken/Veryberry, and other places are located here. Not many come to this particular restaurant, but the food is pretty good. I am certainly not sure if it is authentic, but the food does taste pretty good.
Before we go on though, there is one precaution about going to this place, and it is probably why this place doesn't attract many customers. The reason? They put too much popular music on, and it is obviously not fitting with the restaurant! You don't want to hear something like Womanizer when you are eating a meal. I was about to laugh out loud; change music please!!! Otherwise though, it's a good place to visit.
For recommendations, the fried rice has lots of flavor, and so do the curries. They are not too spicy, but more creamy with lots of coconut milk/cream. Pad Thai is one of our most favorite dishes here, but this time it wasn't the case. But usually, it is just enough of saucy, chewy rice noodles, and very flavorful. This time the noodles were clumpy and seemed dried.
Interior- It's brighter during the day, but this is night. Pretty dark, which makes for a yellowish lighting for photos.
Tom Yum Seafood Soup- This has lots of things, like scallops and fish. The tom yum flavor was there, which is good! Some Thai restaurants are so bad they can't even have a good tom yum flavor, but instead a salty flavor.
Rad Na- We actually put the pad thai into here (left over sauce). Somehow the Pad Thai this visit was somehow disappointing, but otherwise it was good. The Rad Na though as you can see had TONS of sauce, and the rice noodle sheets were slightly crispy and fried, and were fresh ( no feeling of flour like). Pretty good, but I don't think there is supposed to be that much sauce!
Sampan House Salad- This was actually very good! We saw another table order this and so we wanted to try it out. They put some lemon juice/sauce as well as peanut sauce which really enhanced the dish. Also, the ingredients were really fresh- cucumber was crunchy and flavorful, and the lettuce was crisp. A boiled egg was added and it was not over cooked- the egg white was not hard not was the yolk- perfect boiling timing! There were also some fried tofu pieces which added some great texture. Since we wouldn't have eaten the onion raw, we put it into the Tom Yum soup so that it could cook and then eat it.
Pad Thai- This was so-so today, but normally, you will have lots of pad thai flavors, and it is just enough saucy. The noodles won't be clumpy, and they will be chewy. This visit's noodles were slightly overcooked and clumpy- I think they forgot to add an ingredient which is probably why so. There are also peanuts and some cabbage and bean sprouts on the side.
Spicy Eggplant. This was good, but again, not enough of spicy. I think they forgot to do so, but it was flavorful enough. Carrots and onions were added too, and it was pretty good overall. Seemed a little bit more of Chinese rather than Thai, but I do not know. I'm not an expert in Thai Cuisine!
Service: There is always this one guy which we see everytime we come here, and he is very friendly. This time, since we didn't have enough room to put our things, he brought a table next to us so that food could be placed there. That is a very nice touch!
Overall an pretty good experience this time, but usually it is even better! We probably went on a bad night for them.
Other visits @ Sampan:
Sampan Thai Cuisine Visit #2
Sampan Thai Cuisine
227 W Valley Blvd,
San Gabriel, CA 91776
San Gabriel, CA 91776